The Toyota Veloz has been launched in Malaysia to replace the second-generation Avanza in the local line-up. Offering in a sole variant, the new seven-seat MPV is based on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) that is also used by third-generation Avanza as well as the Daihatsu Xenia and Perodua Alza.
Here, the Veloz is the sister car to the Alza, with both being manufactured by Perodua at its plant in Sungai Choh, Rawang. While they may be built at the same location, the Veloz is positioned as a more upmarket offering compared to the Alza, and the price certainly reflects that. At RM95,000 on-the-road without insurance, the single-spec Veloz is nearly RM20,000 more than the range-topping Alza AV (RM75,500).
With full details of the local-spec Veloz now available, we can better compare it to the Alza so shoppers in the market for a seven-seat MPV are fully aware of all the differences and similarities between the two.
Starting with the mechanicals, both models are powered by a 2NR-VE 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that puts out 106 PS (105 hp or 78 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. The Dual VVT-i mill is paired with a D-CVT to drive the front wheels, and drivers have access to a manual mode for the gearbox with seven virtual gears as well as three drive modes (Eco, Normal and Power).
Similarly, the Veloz and Alza come with McPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear, with both also sporting disc brakes all around (lesser Alza variants get rear drum brakes instead).
In terms of visuals, the Veloz gets its own face that is entirely different from the Alza, as evident by its downturned hexagonal-shaped grille with a Y-patterned insert. By comparison, the Alza sports a bowl-shaped grille with a thick bar running across its L-patterned insert.
The X-themed profile of the Alza’s bumper is also unique to accommodate its grille, which is joined by LED fog lamps integrated into the angular black trim. The Veloz’s fog lamps are more prominent by being triple-element units arranged horizontally on its trim and is further garnished by T-shaped chrome accents.
On the mention of lighting, the LED headlamps on the Toyota MPV come with LED daytime running lights (DRLs are optional for Alza with the GearUp body kit) and are bridged by a chrome strip at the top of the grille, which traces its way above the lighting clusters, along the fenders and windowline and terminating near the D-pillars – the Alza doesn’t get the chrome strips on its fenders.
Moving to the rear, both cars share a similar taillight assembly, but only the Veloz gets a red line leading to the central emblem and a model script above the number plate recess. Other notable differences are the bumpers, with the Veloz having horizontally aligned reflectors on black surrounds to closely mirror what you see at the front. The Alza’s setup sees the reflectors positioned further down within its own distinctive surround, and unlike its close sibling, it lacks an indented silver centre section that mimics the look of a skid plate.
Other exterior differences are the wheels and dimensions, with the former being 17-inch units on the Veloz, while the Alza tops out at 16 inches. As for dimensions, both have the same 2,750 mm wheelbase, but the Veloz’s bumpers mean it is 50 mm longer than the Alza AV at 4,475 mm. The Toyota MPV is also slightly wider at 1,750 mm (+20 mm) due to its protruding wheel arches, which are the opposite of the Alza’s that has its recessed.
Another significant aspect is height, with the Veloz measuring 1,700 mm tall compared to the Alza AV that is 1,670 mm. The 30 mm difference boils down to ground clearance, with the Veloz having 190 mm, which is 30 mm more than the Alza with 160 mm (150 mm for the base X).
If you prefer the low-slung MPV look, the Alza is the one to have with its car-like ground clearance that Perodua says allows for easy entry and exit of passengers and cargo (lower load floor). Meanwhile, Toyota says that you won’t need to “worry about damaging the undercarriage while going over rough terrain, speed bumps or potholes” with their taller offering.
Before moving inside, it should be pointed out that only the Veloz can be ordered with a two-tone paint scheme with the Blue Metallic and Silver Metallic hues. Other options are monotone and include Metallic Bluish Black, Red Metallic and White. The Alza’s palette consists of Vintage Brown, Elegant Black, Garnet Red, Glittering Silver and Ivory White, although some are exclusive to H and AV variants.
Getting into both cars, the Veloz and Alza share a nearly identical main dashboard, but the design of the former’s air vents is unique to the model. Toyota’s head unit measures nine inches – same as the Alza – but is more feature packed with support for wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – the Alza only gets wired Android Auto on the AV. The speaker count for both is six, including two tweeters.
The digital control panel for the cars’ single-zone air-conditioning are different too, with the Toyota MPV having two round knobs and an automatic function. The Alza’s panel has buttons only and there’s no automatic function available, although there are two memory positions available.
Another thing the Veloz gets that the Alza doesn’t is a Qi wireless charger that resides on the centre console – the Alza fits central locking buttons in the space instead; the Veloz’s central locking is accessed via the knob on the driver’s door. The Toyota MPV also gets chunky door pulls on the door cards and LED ambient lighting (on the doors and centre stack) to reflect its more upmarket positioning.
You’ll also notice the Alza AV comes with a two-tone dash with dark red as the contrast colour, while its light grey for the Veloz. What’s not immediately obvious is telescopic adjustment, which is exclusive to the Veloz – the Alza’s three-spoke steering wheel only adjusts for tilt.
Going through the equipment lists, keyless entry and engine start, auto-retracting side mirrors, 60:40 split-folding second-row seats, 50:50 split-folding third-row seats, second-row armrest, an integrated dashcam, an electronic parking brake (with auto hold) and a spare wheel are standard for the Veloz and Alza AV. The same applies to the semi-leather upholstery, although the seat patterns are different and the Veloz doesn’t get any contrasting accents.
On the safety front, the Veloz and Alza AV come with six airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, traction control, ABS, EBD, brake assist, hill start assist, emergency stop signal, front and rear parking sensors (two on each end) and second-row ISOFIX child seat anchors (outer seats).
Driver assistance systems are identical for both as well, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane centring assist, front departure alert, pedal misoperation control, a blind spot monitor, automatic high beam, rear cross traffic alert and a 360-degree camera.
With all the differences and similarities laid out, would you pick the Veloz over the Alza? Keep in mind that unlike the previously launched Aruz and Rush, the dissimilarities are greater between the brands’ latest seven-seat MPVs. Money on the line, which one gets your pick?
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